Alanis Jones has a comfort zone awaiting in college even before she takes her first class.
The Kokomo girls basketball standout has signed on to play with the IU Kokomo women’s program in the Cougars’ inaugural season this coming school year.
”I felt more at home being here,” Jones said. “I felt like the fans would like seeing me stay here, and play, and just being able to have the support system like I did in high school, and education was free.”
Jones is getting a partial scholarship from IUK and financial aid will take care of the rest.
”When she went to Chicago and we played in a tournament there, she had a lot of interest from a lot of schools because of the way she played and what she was doing,” former Kokomo coach and current Wildkat AD Jason Snyder said. “She had a lot of great opportunities but this was the best fit. With the coaching staff, with what they were able to offer ... an IU education, this was a great fit for her.”
Jones plans to study to be an athletic trainer after college.
”It feels really good to be able to have a support system and know that no matter what, coach Snyder will still be here for me if I ever need anything, and if I need something outside of basketball, to know that he’s just literally around the corner,” Jones said.
The Cougars play home games in a gymnasium adjacent to Kokomo’s Memorial Gym where Jones practiced and played. IUK’s coach played there in high school, too. Former Wildkat Whitney Farris completed her 16-player squad with Jones’ commitment to the program.
”It’s a great ending,” Farris said of capping her class with a Kokomo player. “I know I’m getting a hard-working kid. I’m getting someone who is going to come in every day and work hard, not only on the court, but off the court in the classroom. It’s tough to keep kids in Kokomo and we’ve scored definitely a great player and person.”